Saturday 12th April heralded the Spring with Carl Orff’s ever popular Carmina Burana along with Captain Noah and his Floating Zoo by Joseph Horovitz. A diverse yet compelling programme of vibrant music which delighted a packed audience.
The children’s choir opened the concert with The Season of Singing which was very apt considering what was to follow. Captain Noah featured cameo roles from members of the choir with Paul Clerehugh as Noah and Mike Tipler as narrator who both brought humour and drama to their roles in equal quantities. The children stole the show as they sang with such enthusiasm and commitment, clearly enjoying their special moments and dramatic touches with barks, screams, glugs and two by twos.
Carmina Burana was breathtaking with Bel Canto on form from the opening chord of O Fortuna to the powerful final note as the wheel went full circle under the skilful direction of Robert Webb. Special thanks go to Jonathan Gooing and Nigel Gyte who played magnificently in accord on two pianos; Clare Wheat for a stunning performance as she soared to the high notes so beautifully in Dulcissime; Peter Taylor for his amazing interpretation of the drunken abbot with its demanding vocal range; Mixed Metal, three percussionists who impressed everyone with their versatility on a huge variety of instruments and the children who were inspired in their singing.
Teamwork in abundance and an excellent performance from everyone.



Following our recent concert with Dore Male Voice Choir and Lesley Garrett, at which the BBC were there doing some filming of Lesley for this upcoming episode, Bel Canto members & Dore MVC have been invited to join other local choirs in forming a massed choir to lead in the singing of some of Lesley’s favourite hymns and this is to be broadcast on Sunday 18th May.

We have also been asked to take part in another episode which will feature more jazz-inspired hymns. Both episodes will be recorded in Leeds at the end of April with this one due to be screened later in the summer.

This is an exciting and interesting opportunity for Bel Canto and something different from our usual concerts. So please do tune in on Sunday 18th May – you never know, you may spot one or two familiar faces…


Celebration Concert with Lesley Garrett

Copyright John C Doornkamp 2014

Copyright John C Doornkamp 2014

What an incredible day! From the afternoon rehearsal to the tremendous performance in the evening to a packed audience of almost two thousand. It was an absolute joy to sing on the stage of City Hall with Lesley Garrett who was truly delightful and enthralled everyone with her beautiful voice.
Congratulations to Robert Webb and Elizabeth Hampshire, conductors of the concert and to Jonathan Gooing, our choir master and accompanist, who all worked tirelessly for months to prepare both choirs for the performance. There was a warm, albeit brief, welcome back to our friend and former MD, David Barnard who accompanied Lesley in his own inimitable style to the delight of everyone.

Bel Canto have been invited to perform with Dore MVC in a combined choir on BBC 1 Songs of Praise with Lesley Garrett which will be recorded in Leeds later this month and screened mid May.

See Gallery for more photographs of the City Hall concert